The Super Mario Bros. Movie Review

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Plot: The story of The Super Mario Bros. on their journey through the Mushroom Kingdom.

Film: The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Directors: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic

Writers: Matthew Fogel

Starring: Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Seth Rogen

This film follows, as you guessed it, The Super Mario Brothers, who are Brooklyn based plumbers on a journey to launch their business and prove to their family that they aren’t screw ups. Mario (Chris Pratt) particularly feels the brunt of his parents’ judgement as they believe he is leading brother Luigi (Charlie Day) astray. Real world problems are soon forgotten when the brothers find themselves in the Darklands and the Mushroom Kingdom respectively, where they meet strange creatures like Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), Bowser (Jack Black) and human Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) among others. 

Everything happens so fast, and the ninety-minute runtime just flies by, not a single frame is wasted in moving the story forward. It’s a bit of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of easter egg hunt though and I’ll definitely have to watch this one again to catch every reference they crammed into the film, but I’m not mad about that. It would also be a treat to hear the impeccable soundtrack again, Take On Me, Thunderstruck, Mr. Blue Sky… An awesome mix to rival Starlord’s own. 

I know we all heard Chris Pratt’s Mario voice and complained, but it fit the character just fine and the only downside is that he definitely doesn’t have as emotive a voice as Charlie Day or Jack Black who were without a doubt the highlights for me, I’ll be singing peaches peaches peaches peaches peaches for the next few months. 

I think Illumination was the right production company for the job, the film had the charm and humour of the first Despicable Me film, and it felt like it really blended into their catalogue of work naturally. I was worried that they would try to change what we know to fit their style, but it worked so well. They also kept a more adult tone with certain scenes and characters, Bowser threatening to kill Luigi for example, rather than end or destroy him. I can’t mention adult humour without mentioning the Luma who absolutely craves death, the perfect nod to Super Mario Galaxy and appealing to us dark humoured millennials. 

I didn’t come out of the film feeling like I was in any way changed, but it’s a fun film and I think the cast and crew did the fans a service with this one. I will say that I watched the film with someone who has never played a Mario game and they said that the story didn’t hold their attention at all because of all the things they weren’t understanding, so bear that in mind when picking your movie buddy. 

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